In "Sing to the Power," a Tapestry of Faith program
This activity raises ethical issues about food by examining how far our food has traveled to get to us.
Tell the group, in these words or your own:
Growing, processing, and transporting food contributes very significantly to climate change, and pollution and misuse of our air, water, and earth. The farther food travels, the more fossil fuels are consumed in transportation, the less control we have over the conditions involved in producing that food, and the less connection we have with the people and land originally connected with the food.
Food that travels around the world is a very profitable business. However, the people who actually produce the food do not always get paid fairly.
Now show the grocery bag of food. Unpack it, handing an item to each child. Ask them to try to identify where their item comes from. A produce item often has a sticker that tells the country of origin; canned or boxed goods will be labeled with fine print information on the producer and distributor. Point out that an item with more than one ingredient may be labeled with the location of the company that sold the food, but may not provide information on where each ingredient originated.
Move to the maps. Invite children to call out the places the food originated. Attach sticky notes to the locations the children name.
Lead a discussion with these questions:
Invite the group to brainstorm questions they might wonder about how and where the food was produced. Prompt:
Ask the children, "Who has an item marked 'fair trade'?" Have that participant tell what food they have and where it originated, and show others the fair trade label. Explain that a "fair trade" designation means the growers of the product (say, coffee or chocolate) worked directly with the buyers to negotiate a fair amount of money for their work.
Provide a magnifying glass to help participants read fine print on labels.
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Last updated on Thursday, August 16, 2012.
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